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Your 'ooops'

Reader comment on item: Wasting U.S. Taxpayer Money in Afghanistan

Submitted by Richard Oldfart (United States), Feb 9, 2010 at 09:36

Dr. Pipes blithely quips: '"We're trying to buy a little peace" exactly fits McChrystal's "war as social work" approach. It also amounts to the worst war-fighting idea the U.S. military has yet come up.'

I'm sorry to contradict someone I so respect, but history provides corrective insight to this observation. Hamas, Hizb'allah, and numerous other forces combined ruthlessness with efficient and effective charitable activities to displace loyalty from the dominant but corrupt authority toward their own more socially benevolent insurrection. Gaza is a classic example of how a little well-placed patronage can have a huge multiplier effect. So the sarcasm is misplaced here. War is not what McChrystal is prosecuting - he's purchasing loyalty, which turns out to be just another commodity up for grabs in the marketplace of cultural experience. McCrystal's intention would seem to be to vitiate the need for war by seducing the populace away from support for the evil aggressors and toward us, the noble good guys. Sorry. I get a little confused by the need for humans to constantly choose sides and then kill each other. A million years of evolution, and we still haven't figured out that sex is more fun than fighting. Well, at least for me it is.

Anyhow, money can't buy poverty, but it sure can buy loyalty, and that seems a logical product to purchase at the regional social supermarket. If this policy doesn't work, we can always resume business as usual, go back to killing everyone, and comment snidely on the primitive viciousness of the other side.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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